A Few of My Favorite Things 2015

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2015:

Favorite Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. Come on, this had to seem obvious, right? Yes, yes, because Tom Hardy is in it. But really what made it my favorite of the year wasn’t just getting that warm fuzzy feeling from Tom on the big screen. It was the strong, ass kicking, feminist character, Imperator Furiosa. The movie is truly about Furiosa, and then about Max who, for all intents and purpose, is her sidekick. I could go deeper into this, about how the film itself is a study in how women are treated now, how would women be treated in the apocalypse, but, to put it simply, Mad Max is my favorite movie of the year because damn do I love to watch a woman take the lead in an action movie and not have to use her sexuality, to truly just kick ass using nothing more than physical and mental strength, wit, and resourcefulness.

Some runners up are Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Fifty Shades of Grey (because sometimes train wrecks are just REALLY hard to look away from). It should also be noted, I slacked in the movie department in 2015. There are many that still need to be seen, and will likely be better than any I’ve listed here.

Favorite Album: You know me, I can never have just one! Last year I was lucky enough to see my top two artists live (and will get to see them again this year) and their performances only solidified my love for both of their new albums. At Bonnaroo during both Florence and Mumford’s sets I was brought to tears because both albums brought out so many emotions in me throughout a turbulent Spring. But, despite having both How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and Wilder Mind on repeat, I once again had 20 albums I just couldn’t get enough of…

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Favorite Book: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling was by far my favorite new release. Partly because I didn’t read a lot of recent releases in 2015 (I found myself reading a lot of murder mystery series… don’t ask me why. I just can’t seem to get enough of serial killers as of late.) and, mostly, because Kaling has this voice I cannot get enough of. She is easy to relate to, open, and whenever I read her I’m always fairly certain we should probably be best friends.

My non-2015 runners up were Yes Please by Amy Poehler (also on my list of imaginary best friends) and the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain (like I said, allll the serial killers, please!).

Favorite TV Show: Laugh if you must, but my favorite TV show last year was the amazing (and awful) The Only Way is Essex. This is a British reality show (slightly akin to Jersey Shore- think lots of plastic surgery, make up, and tanning, but less partying and physical fights) I discovered by chance three years ago. The reason it became my favorite this year is because as I was catching up with the 15th season, yes FIFTEEN SEASONS, Mr. T caught me watching it and instead of being embarrassed by my terrible taste I told him he had to watch it with me from the beginning. It began as a joke, but now it’s something we love to laugh at together, something that, early on in our relationship, truly showed me that he was the type of man who could laugh at the absurd with me. Also? I just truly am an anglophile. Give me more Brits, dammit!

Runner up: Jessica Jones. Yes to all female ass kickers. YES.

Favorite Concert: If I thought the 150 shows in 2014 were hard to choose between, the nearly 250 shows I saw in 2015 are even more impossible. This was the year of amazing music for me. This was a year unlike any other, and a year I will probably never get to repeat again. Tiny ten people shows, arena classic rock tours, Coachella, Bonnaroo, local music fests… all of it made for a year that was, quite literally, music to my ears. But the best shows have to be the nights I got to see women who have influenced my life. From childhood to adulthood there have been a handful of strong, vulnerable, beautiful, romantic women who have shaped me through their music. Heart, Blondie, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to my life throughout the years. I have cried and loved and danced my way through happiness and heartbreak to the Wilson sisters, Debbie Harry, Florence Welch, and, more than anyone, Stevie Nicks and each of their shows surpassed everything I hoped they’d be.

Favorite Purchase: Pearl! My 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was a sad day when I finally had to give in and put ol’ Ruby, the first car I had every truly owned, out to pasture. But driving home in a new (to me) car that I knew wouldn’t break down every month (literally. Every. Single. Month. I’m looking at you, Ruby…) gave me such a feeling of comfort and relief. In the 367 days that I’ve owned Pearl I’ve put 10,800 miles on her. Two trips to Denver, one to Mobile, Alabama, and soon, a quick trip to Omaha. Yep, it’s great to find a gal that loves to travel as much as I do.

Favorite Meal: Having a meal made for you is always a treat. Having the best steak you’ve ever eaten (literally. This is not a joke, people. Buttery, medium rare, mouthwatering steak.) made for you is even better. In our relationship, I am more often than not the one cooking for Mr. T, and I very much enjoy it. But one night, for no special reason, he grilled up a steak on his salt block (look it up. Buy it. You’ll thank me.), sauteed me some veggies, and baked me a potato. It was not only a sweet gesture, it was absolutely delicious.

Great. And now I want steak…

Favorite Date: This is by far the hardest for me to determine. For possibly the first time in my life I had SO MANY good dates, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Mr. T has surprised me with concert tickets (to shows he definitely would not have wanted to go to, but I definitely did), taken me to the drive in, out for my favorite comfort foods when I’m needing it, out to breweries, on road trips, taken me home to meet his friends and family, and even out for sunset walks on the beach in the Gulf Shores, so trust me, it’s really hard to choose just one date. But, if forced, I guess there is one day that always sticks out in my mind.

Our first mini-road trip together was to Omaha, where we will soon celebrating our six month anniversary (yes, because I’m cheesy). The week prior to the trip over Labor Day we both had been battling summer cold/tummy sickness and overall, just not feeling the best. This was still lingering on our second day there and I was worried this would put a damper on our brunch and brewery tour plans. By the time we were halfway through brunch though, I knew we had nothing to worry about. Our food was amazing and we both ended up feeling better than we had in days. We found some of our new favorite beers, we talked and laughed all day, and even when the rain started to roll in and we both had a few too many to really want to hit anymore breweries, the date continued back in the hotel room with pizza and HGTV. (Seriously, if you haven’t made fun of the people on House Hunters, you really haven’t lived. Go, do it now.) In a way, the actual date was nothing special, just a day exploring the city. But in another way, it was and always will be one of the most special to me. At this point I was already crazy about Mr. T, happy and in love, but being in a different city where it really is just the two of us I fully felt the certainty that if it was always just the two of us, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would always find a way to have fun.

Favorite Guy: I think this one may possibly, just maaaay be a given…

Almost six months ago (5 months, 26 days, and about 8 and a half hours ago if you want to get specific) Mr. T met me at the shitty dive bar I mentioned I’d be at and my life has been infinitely happier ever since. He is this caring, giving, cute, loving, goofy, sincere, loyal, committed, sexy, appreciative, happy, serious, music loving, crazy about me guy I have spent years dreaming of. At times I still find myself questioning us, like after all the years of struggling with bad relationships things can’t go this smoothly and feel this right, can they? But every time that inkling of doubt even creeps it’s way in my mind something comes along to remind me yes, sometimes things can be this easy. That’s not to say it’s always easy and it’s perfect, but that does mean that there is finally a person there fighting for me as much as I am fighting for them when things aren’t easy. There is finally someone who makes believe that maybe all these years I haven’t just been a hopeless romantic believing that someone was out there who would compliment and also challenge me in ways I’ve always wanted and ways I didn’t even know I needed until I felt. It wasn’t me just being a hopeless romantic, it was just me waiting patiently, and more often that not, impatiently, on the two of us being at the right place and the right times in our lives to finally have this love. There is finally someone who makes me fully believe in the phrase ‘when you know, you know.’ And I very much know. He is my favorite guy of 2015, and will be for many more years to come.

 

The Winning Season

Hey, remember this time last year when I posted about the Royals’ postseason mirroring my love life? But feeling hope that they would shake off their loss and come back to finally win, and maybe someday I would as well? Well guess what? This year they did it. They won.

THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES.

With all my superstitions does this give me hope that maybe this is finally my time as well? Perhaps.

What gives me more hope than superstitions is watching every game with this guy by my side. Celebrating their victory with him already felt like I was celebrating my own.

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A Few of My Favorite Things 2014

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2014:

Favorite Movie

Gone Girl. Hands down one of the best book to screen adaptations I’ve seen. I know not everyone agrees with me on this, but seeing as how I saw it in August and still find myself thinking back on it, it was pretty damn good for me. Some runners up: Locke. Tom Hardy at his best. Seriously, only someone on his level can pull off a movie that’s only action is him driving for two hours and still leave viewers totally engrossed. Obvious Child. Jenny Slate is climbing her way up my Girl Crush list reeeeeal fast.

Favorite Album

Zaba by Glass Animals. Clearly if you see a band four times in about five months, you’ve got a bit of a thing for them. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m feeling, I could listen to that album all the way through and enjoy the shit out of it every time. A close runner up: Singles by Future Islands. This band seems to be a love ‘em or hate ‘em for a lot of people with no middle ground and I am firmly planted on the love ‘em side. I get why people are turned off by them, they are a bit weird and don’t quite fit into one solid genre, but that’s probably what I love the most. That and they are fantastic live. I actually have about 20 albums I was pretty obsessed with this year, so instead of listing them all here, I’ll leave you with this…  

Favorite Book

I’m an absolute crap book nerd. It was such a busy year I maybe ready a dozen books at best. I have at least another dozen I’m about halfway through, and damnit, I will finish them! And of the dozen I actually finished, none of them were published this year. So, my favorite book this year was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns by my favorite lady crush, Mindy Kaling. Yes, this was a re-read, but it was just as perfect the second time around. It was most definitely the best thing I could have read post-breakup, and it also doesn’t hurt that she mentions the name Thalia and in my mind, that basically means we are best friends now.

Favorite TV Show

Sons of Anarchy. Seriously. What will I do with myself now that my favorite show is over? Sigh. I guess I’ll rely on the Mindy Project to keep me company on Tuesday nights.

Favorite Concert

If you read my previous blog you know this will be nearly impossible for me to choose. Basically all I did in 2014 was go to concerts. It would seem like an easy choice, Coachella. And yes, totally amazing. But, I also got the chance to see some of my favorite bands in really small venues and that’s kind of hard to top. So for favorite concert I’m going to just go ahead and say all of 2014 was my favorite concert. I have no idea how I’ll top it in 2015, but I can’t wait to try.

Favorite Purchase

A trip to Cancun! What do you when you have a ton of frequent flyer miles you were planning to use for a long distance relationship that ends up going kaput? You use them miles to go on an awesome mini-break with a great friend. In less than three weeks my life will be all sand, sunshine, and all you can drink margaritas!

Favorite Meal

Dear Margaritas in Palm Springs: You are my favorite place in the whole wide world and I dream of your sushi/Mexican/brunch buffet daily. Please stay open forever and ever. Just knowing there’s a place out there where I can get all three of my favorite foods in all you can eat quantities gets me through all the nights of kale salads I intend on eating after the new year.

Favorite Date

This year I, sadly, had the best date of my life. I say sadly because clearly I’m not with the person I had this date with anymore, but, regardless, it really was my favorite date of all time. Long Distance Ex was still working night shifts at the time, so we decided to meet for dinner up by his work. Unfortunately we picked a place that just happened to have two locations on the same street about 10 miles apart, and, unfortunately, OF COURSE I went to the wrong location. I felt like a giant moron, but it was actually kind of great because our relationship was still new and it totally set the tone for us, always able to laugh about anything. Eventually I got to the right location and we had a really great dinner. I mean, the food was fine, basic chain restaurant food, but being together made it great. And that wasn’t even the best part of the date. The best part comes later when he decided to leave work early because he didn’t want our date to be over. It was a perfect night in the beginning of July. Not too hot, not too humid, perfect porch night weather. So that’s exactly what we did. We sat on my back porch, under white Christmas lights and lavender citronella candlelight, listening to music, drinking, and talking for hours. It was almost 1 a.m. before we even noticed how long we had been out there. True, it kind of kills me to write about it now, because looking back, I know that was the night I fell in love with him, but I try not to let that take away from now knowing that every once and awhile perfect nights can happen. Maybe they won’t lead to perfect relationships, but you can always have those perfect nights.

Favorite Guy

None. Despite that perfect night I just described and a lot of really other great times, Long Distance Ex is not my favorite guy of the year. I will forever love what we had together, and probably, in some way, forever love him, but I guess I’m just not willing to give neither he nor any of the other guys I dated this year that title. But, you know who does get it? My friends. Because, in the words of the great Leslie Knope, ovaries before brovaries! Who needs a guy when you have great friends who truly take care of you when you need it? If you’re a frequent reader, you know I’ve been through some shit with men, and this recent break up was no different. What was different was the support I received from my friends, and never once did I have to ask for it. I broke down probably a million and ten times and never once did they do anything but support me. If I were them I would have been really tempted to leave me in my sad-sack state to wallow, but instead they showed up with ice cream and tissues in hand and endless hugs. And, even when they may have pushed a little too hard to get me out of my funk, I knew it was because they cared. So to all my friends, THANK YOU for being my favorite people of 2014. Well, you and Tom Hardy and Charlie Hunnam because… Well, come on. You know why…tumblr_mct2z5kjgz1rvjbdjo1_5002lw9nqdjpg

One of the Best

While 2014 wasn’t a perfect year, I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun in my life than I had this year. A huge part of that is due to the outrageous amount of live music I was lucky enough to see. There are few things that make me happier than going to shows and this year I had a ton of people to enjoy those shows with, made fun new friends in the process, and even learned how to love going to shows on my own. Some were just here at local dive bars, some on Broadway in Nashville, some at festivals, some bands I saw multiple times, and some, to be honest, I almost don’t remember seeing at all (damn you VIP at summer shows!). And, okay, it’s not just “some” bands, over 150 of them to be a little more exact.

Here’s the list of how it all went down….

Paul Shin Trio, Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle, Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, The Zeros, Gary Clark Jr., Kings of Leon, Vance Joy, Young the Giant, Aloe Blacc, Haim, Bastille, Kate Nash, Ellie Goulding, Chromeo, Girl Talk, Busta Rhymes, Outkast, Holy Ghost, Kid Cudi, Future Islands, Lorde, Foster the People, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Queens of the Stone Age, Nas, Jay-Z, Muse, STRFKR, Frank Turner, Krewella, Flosstradamus, Skrillex, Dillion Francis, Aluna Geore, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Beck, Arcade Fire, Debbie Harry, Moses Sumney, Local Natives, Night Terrors of 1927, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Warlocks, The Dandy Warhols, Hunter Hunted, Twenty One Pilots, Nonono, St Lucia, Foster the People, White Sea, Strange Babes, Naked and Famous, Cults, Vampire Weekend, Sigrah, Nmezee, Holy Ghost, Reel Big Fish, Frank Turner, John Butler Trio, Deap Valley, Band of Skulls, Me Like Bees, Not a Planet, March Fourth Marching Band, Robert DeLong, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Architects, Capital Cities, Man Man, Cherub, 2 Chainz, Diplo, Travis Scott, White Arrows, The Neighbourhood, Rich Robinson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Zeros, White Girl, Glass Animals, Glass Animals (yep, again), The Invisible World, Jeremy Messersmith, Rev Gusto, Dear Boy, Scruffy and the Janitors, Kitten, The Architects, Better Than Ezra, The Late Night Callers, Max Frost, Justin Timberlake, Curtis Harding, Jack White, Misterwives, The Bleachers, Prof, Dem Atlas, DJ Fundo, Atmosphere, RAC, Future Islands, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Delta Spirit, Empires, Glass Animals, Cherub, Portugal The Man, Grouplove, Moon Taxi, Outkast, Striking Matches, Exile, Raelynn, Mac Wiseman, Vince Gill, Alabama Shakes, Charity Byars, Mauldin Brothers, Scott Collier, Lewis Copeland, Michael Scott, Brandon Holder Band, Jesse Cain, Jon Pardi, Kip Moore, Randy Houser, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Jungle, Bonobo, Said The Whale, Ross Christopher, Kopecky Family Band, Against Me, Gaslight Anthem, Alt-J, Deadman Flats, Rain Dogs, White Girl, Night Terrors of 1927, Future Kinds, Golden Groves, Chappo, The Features, Not A Planet, Found a Job, Gypsy Sparrows, Paulo Nutini, Hembree, French Horn Rebellion, The Noise FM, Sheppa, The Architects, Beautiful Bodies, Cold War Kids, Cage the Elephant, The Outsides, Misterwives, Bleachers, Banks, Glass Animals, St. Vincent, and finally, to end 2014, The Black Keys.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Vol. 2

AWARDS SEASON IS OVER.

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This very much depresses me. Months upon months until this glorious time of year graces us again. I suppose all there is to do now is to look back and reminisce on what truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

My Favorite People

Not one person this award season seem to be having a who gives a fuck good time like Emma Thompson.

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When I’m at a party, I’m typically the one with a drink in one hand and my shoes in the other, so me and Emma? We seem like we’d get along famously.

Speaking of getting along famously…

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Please, oh please you dapper gents, let me drink cocktails and snap dance with you!

The Best Hosts EVER

Once again, Tina and Amy reign supreme. They had the jokes:

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And the bits:

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Poor Randy! Who wouldn’t want this man to be their daddy… (I know I do, *wink*)

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Back to the ladies though, can we just check out these dresses?

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Hot. Damn. Very well played, ladies. Let’s just please go ahead and sign them up to host everything forever and ever.

The Best Speech

For every cringe worthy ‘Alright, alright, alright’ uttered by Matthew McConaughey, there was the stunning and wonderful Lupita Nyong’o. Her joy and sincerity was absolute perfection.

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And good ol’ Leo, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. At least he kept his humor about him when he accepted his Golden Globe for…comedy?

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Kudos to you, Leo. It can’t be easy to keep one’s spirit up while watching Matthew McConaughey run off with every other award of the season while you are stuck sitting in your chair thinking about how years from now Hollywood will probably make a movie of your life, your amazing career, and your inability to win an Oscar…and how the actor who plays you will probably win an Oscar for that role.

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Best Award Show Couples

I love them so much, it’s kind of creepy.

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I love the idea of them so much, it’s kind of creepy.

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And, really, I wish these two would just try and look a little more in love with each other…

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Awards Season Covet: Great Hair

The ombre. The perfect beach waves.The shine. Teach me your ways! Jared Leto’s hair is EVERYTHING.

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The only person with hair more beautiful and flowing? Jared Leto’s mom. Talk about great genes.

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PIXIE CUTS!!! Will this obsession ever go away?

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Best Dressed

And now for the part I truly love… FASHION.

Three things I took away from the Oscars red carpet: 1) I need Olivia Wilde’s dress for my post-pasta belly (which is now just about the size of her ridiculously petite baby belly). 2) Amy Adams, and all other redheads, should wear navy at all times. And 3) Naomi Watts is creeping her way into my style icon top five. I love her sleekness and simplicity.

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While there weren’t tons of dresses at the big show I was crazy about, there were quite a few after party frocks that delighted me to no end. These looks are so gorgeous, there are some I wish people would have worn to the ceremony (yes, I’m looking at you Kate and Anna). Evan Rachel Wood’s overall look is so flapper chic, and the color against her skin is so perfect, she may be my favorite of the whole season.

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At the Globes, Amy once again knocks it out of the park. Those strips of fabric seem to be defying gravity. Personally, I can’t ever imagine walking out the house with so little covering my body, but then again, I am not rockin’ the body Amy is rockin’. I also love that she didn’t over accessorize this. Helen Mirren and Margot Robbie both look lovely in shades of turquoise, and Rashida Jones and Julianna Margulies were looking perfect in their prints. (Also, Rashida gets points for her top knot. I’m a sucker for a good top knot.)

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I follow Juliette Lewis on Instagram and she seems to be a wacky and wild gal, but damn does she know how to clean up good. Not just at the Critics’ Choice, but at every show there seemed to be more red than usual happening this year and this was one of the best. I also seem to be growing increasingly fond of cap sleeves. Probably because it’s not a look I can pull off particularly well. And speaking of looks almost no one can pull off well, how about that pantsuit? Also, is it just me or does Margot Robbie look a lot like a softer featured version of Jamie Pressly?

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Over at the SAG awards, the Elisabeths were killing it. Moss and Rohm, respectively, brought totally different looks, but each equally as gorgeous. I love a star who knows how to hold off on the accessories. If the dress looks great, why distract from it?

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LUPITA! Oh, Lupita, you brought so much fashion joy this awards season. I’m mad about this color on her, and the gold cuffs and belt? PERFECTION. I have decided that Cate Blanchett should wear black at all times. I have always coveted her porcelain skin and light eyes so anytime she dresses in black I can’t help but swoon. And as much as I love these two ladies, I have the exact opposite feelings for Mrs. Brange. It SO pains me to say this, but, I will swallow my dislike for her and freely admit, Angelina brought. it. to the BAFTAs. Not many women could pull off this look, but I think it’s the exact swagger I dislike about her so much that makes this look work. So just for one night, Angie, you get a pass!

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Over at the Emmys there was more cap sleeves! More red! I’m beginning to feel the way about Robin Wright in black as I do about Cate Blanchett. If I had my way I would turn these two into goth chicks just to keep them in black at all times. (Also, I would like to know exactly what Cate and Robin do to have skin so flawless. Human sacrifice? Voodoo spells? Show me your ways!)

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This year it wasn’t just the women bringing their fashion A game. This year the men were on point as well. Ever since Paul Rudd rocked one in “I Love You, Man” I wondered, why don’t more men wear navy tuxedos? Well, this year, I finally got my wish! Well done, men. Very well done.

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A Case of the Annes

Now, what is an awards season without some ANNE FUCKING HATHAWAY? Thankfully, this year was fairly Anne-free. And, even when she did rear her insipid head, Jared Leto was there, ready to save the day…

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Again, I refuse to let this head on a stick ruin my this most glorious time of year, so, to end on a high note…

BEARDS!

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Beards, glorious beards!

Thank you men for the beards. Thank you designers for the dresses. Thank you Anne for being awful. And thank you Hollywood for needing to validate each other with countless awards! Now, sadly, the wait for 2015 is on.

A Few of My Favorite Things of 2013

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2013:

Favorite Movie:

The Great Gatsby. When I first saw the preview for this, I squealed with delight. Everything about this movie made me excited to see it (even Tobey Whiny-Face Maguire, and that is a feat right there so kudos on that, Baz Luhrmann). Normally when I anticipate a movie as much as I did this one, I end up leaving the theater slightly disappointed, but, luckily, Gatsby did not disappoint. The film itself was visually extravagant and captivating and the cast was, for me, perfection. Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance made me fall for him like it was 1996 all over again. The way he played Jay, constantly walking the line between cocksure and desperate, made me wish all throughout the film that the ending would magically change and he could have his happily ever after with Daisy. And don’t get me started on Daisy. I’m already on the books as a Carey Mulligan fangirl, and this role only solidified it for me. This is also possibly when I began to obsess over going crazy and chopping off all my hair…great-gatsby-carey-mulligan-daisy-buchanan-fashion-1920-flapper

Some close runner ups: This Is The End, for the pure, nonsensical, belly laughs that were had at this. Prisoners , for the exact opposite of This Is The End– pure, stress induced seat gripping was all that happened at this. Brilliant performances though (and, come one, it’s Jake. Of course I loved this). The Wolf of Wall Street. Again, crazy good performances. Leo ftw this year. And finally, Drinking Buddies and Francis Ha for giving me some female characters to relate too (Olivia Wilde talking about her imaginary cat had me yelling at my TV ‘OMG, ME TOO!’).

Favorite Album:

Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys both released new albums this year, so this was a definitely a great year in music for this gal. Both Mechanical Bull and AM were on heavy rotation in my iPod. After falling off the radar (for some rehab time, I’m guessing) for awhile, I was extremely happy to hear KOL’s newest and LOVE. IT. As for Arctic Monkeys? They’ve always been a band I’ve enjoyed, but AM took it to a whole new level. Talk about hot sex on a disc. It just oozes sexiness. Even just hearing the intro to “Do I Wanna Know?” gives me good feelings. God bless, Alex Turner. May you never lose that swagger!

Some other notable albums I’ve been going a little crazy for: Tegan and Sara Heartthrob, JT The 20/20 Experience, The National Trouble Will Find Me, Arcade Fire Reflektor, and Bastille Bad Blood. (Y’all, I listen to music ALL DAY, EVERY DAY at work. Thus, there can’t be just one favorite album of the year!)

Favorite Book:

The Goldfinch. Almost a decade ago I read The Little Friend and The Secret History and was blown away by Donna Tartt. The Goldfinch was no exception. Damn, that woman can write a novel.

Some other goodies: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. While techincally published in 2012, I think it being done so on December 31st makes it acceptable for a best of 2013 list. Moyes writes a funny, touching, bittersweet story that left me in both sad and happy tears. And since this is my list, I’ll throw in another 2012 published book because, damnit, I can do what I want! (And also, it took me forever to get a Kindle copy of this one from my library.) Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I absolutely loved the way the stories intertwined. So much so that it took me all of two days to finish this book. I highly recommend all three. (And can I just say how much I love having all these insanely talented female authors to choose from?)

Favorite TV Show:

Drama- Sons of Anarchy. Holy hell, y’all. Shit got real this season. I would go so far as to say there was no better drama on TV this fall, and yeah, I’m even taking the final season of Breaking Bad into account when I say that. Seriously, best season of SOA by a landslide. (Bonus points for multiple un-clothed Jax scenes.)

Comedy- The Mindy Project. Mindy joins the list of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as women I really need to be best friends with, like, immediately. Plus? Any show that gives me Chris Messina brushin’ a little dirt off his shoulder to Aliyah is a-okay in my book.danny-dance-3

Favorite Concert:

Arctic Monkeys. Remember when I said the intro of “Do I Wanna Know?” gives me all sorts of good feelings? Well imagine being in a packed theater, lights down, those first few chords playing with nothing but a red light flooding the stage and the silhouette of Alex Turner and his guitar are all you can see. Yeah, those good feelings increased times a million. The show was one just ear-gasm after another.

Favorite Purchase:

Umm, you mean aside from a flight to Europe?! Pretty much everything I purchased on the trip! I came back from England and France with cute clothes, delicious wine, and countless memories.

A close runner up is my new bed. Ohhh, the hours of sleep I have enjoyed on you, super firm bed. You have now made me a person who can sleep in again!

Favorite Meal:

Foie Gras, perfectly cooked steak, giant cheese plate, and the world’s most divine chocolate mousse. The things dreams (and chubby tummies) are made of.

Favorite Date:

See above. Easily the nicest meal I’ve been out to in ages and my date was amazing. Because my date was ME! One of the best lessons I’ve learned in 2013 is learning to truly be able to enjoy spending time with yourself. After all, if you don’t, how will anyone else? (Also, it didn’t hurt that this date took place in Paris. I mean, I’ve had some good dates here in KC, but come on, it takes quite a bit to compete with PARIS.)

Favorite Guy:

Okay, this category cannot be limited to just one, because the answer to this is BRITISH BOYS. Yep, lots of them. Of course there’s Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hardy, but there’s also all the lovely boys I met and saw while actually IN THE UK! They are lovely. They are beyond lovely. They are cheeky and handsome and stylish and full on swoon-worthy.

So that, dear readers, was my 2013 in a nutshell. Books, bands, and boys from across the pond. Here’s hoping 2014 looks as good as this…brits

 

Home

Today marks five months since my move to Kansas City. Those months have absolutely flown by, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve been here forever.

About a month ago I went back to Denver for the first time. I couldn’t believe how many people, in KC and Denver, told me I would probably get there, realize how much I missed it, and not want to come back to KC. And, I will admit, I had been victim to that same thought briefly. What if I got to Denver and realized I made a huge mistake? Honestly, I was a more than a little stressed on the flight back to my old stomping grounds.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. As much as I miss people there (AND I DO!) and as much fun as I had there, by the time my plane touched down in KC on Sunday night all I felt was happy to be back home.

I know, I know. How could I be excited to be living in KC after spending seven years in Denver? PLENTY of people I’ve met here have asked me that. In fact, I’m so sick of people asking me that I’ve taken to telling people I moved here from Arizona (no offense, Arizona, I’m sure you’re wonderful). But, as much as I hate the question, I do my best to answer it. Of course, my first answer is being close to family, because that is huge. But, here are a few more reasons…

Relaxing in the backyard after work… 1005564_10101031980809173_255501310_n

Sundays spent in the River Market…1185322_10101159805597273_1203213399_n1236590_10101159802718043_517193990_nOr Sundays spent here…1231514_10101184119167683_19158324_n66770_10101249484020993_1374367575_nOr Friday nights spent here…photo-7With these ladies…1238723_10101192263281813_436500303_nBecause on Friday nights they have these…164263_10101090302127783_1497430801_nAlso on Friday nights? Food trucks…944738_10101113076118523_736335578_nAnd speaking of food…1237003_10101157750685333_578817616_nOf course, to work it all off, I have to go to the gym in the mornings, which always has a great view of this…1004913_10101121113596353_199272508_nOther great views near me?Country_Club_Plaza_2_Kansas_City_MOEven on a rainy day it looks pretty damn good…photo 2And you know I have to love a place with a library like this…Kansas-City-Public-Library-Missouri_2And music like this just blocks from where I live…photo-6

And gorgeous art a few blocks the other way…??????????And where I live? No words for walking down my block yesterday and seeing this…photo-9So yeah, me and Kansas City are doing alright. I can’t wait for the next five months…and many more to come after that.1230082_10101171375366363_56740885_n